tv [untitled] December 6, 2013 4:00pm-4:31pm PST
>> >> we believe that the main reason why we are here, is not because these trees are dying, or of the disease it is because, park merced wants to set a precedent in the tree removal. and they want to get a head start on the development and we believe that this has been going for quite some time and finally we caught up to them
and now, so we believe that this is what this is all about, and there is a court appeal of the development project and it is in the court after peels and we believe that they should not remove any trees until this appeal is resolved by the first district court of appeals >> he came up here and of course, he stated that these trees were diseased. well he is a businessman. and his company makes more money from tree removals than from maintenance. so, of course he is going to come up here and say that these trees need to be
removed because they are diseased. and on another point, miss short do not really recommend any restorative action for these trees. she sort of skirted the idea that these trees could be saved but she did not pose that as an alternative that these trees could be saved. and with some tlc, tender loving care by the owners. she also mentioned that the drive is a high traffic area. these trees do not pose a hazardous risk to the cars or pedestrians or even the buildings themselves. and once again, she is not provided any evidence from these trees, she has not provided any incident reports.
and that these trees have caused some kind of injury or damage, along the gonzales drive. and the same thing happened back in august in the initial hearing. she did not present any reports. >> she has not worked out with our group and working with our group and we bring the issues of illegal removal of trees and replanting and she has not reached out and we are skeptical that she will reach out if indeed this body decides to up hold the orders of the
hearing officer we don't believe that this plan is enforcable and we will now put the recommendation here on the overhead. and for the public and for you to see, and this is the recommendation. and so, the highlighted in pink here. and she approved the removal of these trees conditioned on the replanting of three trees with canopies of similar to the tree being removed and the largest size available and working with the neighbors dpw to follow up. >> well we have not done this in the past. we had a number of trees removed illegally and they have not followed up on the compliance and we do not believe that this will happen in this particular case, so we believe that this appeal, should be upheld and that the permit should be denied. >> thank you.
>> >> cathy lentz. >> so, i just want to address one thing. we agree that the 605 gonzales is by carlos said 811 and ted said and i trust that 605 definitely needs cabling and 811, according to ted does not, or he would have recommended it. it needs and this is 811. i have a photo there. and it needs wind sailing and whatever the other... and let's
see. wind... take the large limb off and rate the wind sale reduction and so he has not recommended cabling. and the best tree person in the bay area. you have to understand that we have had a very acromonious relationship with planning, the project has been painful to the residents out there. we are trying now to work with planning and the science report will indicate how many trees have been removed without being replanted. i do feel still that 605 gonzales can be saved and carlos pointed out that it needs extra pruning since we have not seen one tree pruned out there or maintained. maybe it is asking a lot. it came from the urban forest counsel that 79 percent of the
large trees are disappearing in san francisco. and i am sure that it is a logging in brotherhood and what is going on with the park merced. it is contributing factor. and so, the main thing is that these people are not watering the trees. so, they are condemning them to a slow death. and there should be able to be some enforcement to have them keep what we have. rather than have to stand back and see for them, to wait until a tree looks bad and then come to you, and have you say yes, let's remove it. it seems to me that they should be made to prune these trees. which we feel as we have demonstrated can be done. so we really are at your mercy. we want to keep what we have and it is very demoralizing to our community to see these disappearing left, right and center.
and i believe that there are 60 years, and it is heart breaking. and if they are treating the trees like this before the project has even started, how do you think that they are going to treat, us? >> i am appalled to see the way that they have dealt with the environment, cut the water over and over watering the lawns and trees that are under 25 feet they don't even take care of. they send the gardeners out and they cut the topps off and those poor men have no experience in pruning whatsoever. i throw myself on your mercy, what can we do to make these people accountable, when all that they really care about is money? and that is the bottom line. not maintenance, not preservation and not caring for the environment. thank you. >> thank you.
>> we can hear from the permit holder, any rebuttal? >> okay. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> and yes, i won the contract to this and i am doing the work, and so i do profit from the work, i do the work. i do not... if the tree is pruned and you keep pruning a tree you keep coming back every year and once you remove it you are not coming back so that is not particularly true. and there has been pruning done on some trees out at park merced and we have to currently trying to do more and this process is stopped us from happening. and so, that is all that i got. >> thank you. >> i have a question, sorry. >> so, besides the tree removal, has the bodies that have hired you asked you to take a look at the over all
health of the rest of the trees? well, they currently have a contracted with another ar bonist to do a report and he is reviewing all of the trees on the site. and because you know, off doing the work and so we have to kind of, i have the opinions on everything that is out there and... >> are you the higher arborist to do the maintenance of the current trees? meaning like trimming and bringing them to the general health? >> yes, in terms of a and the main nens contract, i am asking to do and respond to the specific tasks on the specific trees and i provide a quote and i do the work that is the nature of that. >> what is the percentage of the tree removal verses maintenance? >> tree pruning? >> it is disproportionate and i am asked to prune about 200 trees. >> so you have been asked to prune, two? >> correct.
>> around the buildings. but, that is all not happening right now. >> okay, thank you. >> miss short. >> miss short, any rebuttal? nothing? >> okay. >> question for miss short? >> yeah. >> with respect to the tree, at 811, which it was suggested that to do this end wait and see the wind sale reduction and i think that was the one that you said was healthy but we do agree that that is an potential alternative for maintaining that tree? >> again, i think that any reduction would happen reduce the likelihood of the limb failure and wind fail reduction, the same concept. i think that the structure of that tree is because it has in the past is problematic and i think that cable would also be essential if that tree was to
be retained. and there actually is a cable, in the tree that installed at some point previously and although i don't know if it was installed properly and i have not inspected the cable itself. and but the canopy vigor of the health of that tree is the best of the three. >> you did reference earlier that by cabling sort of indicates that there is some sort of structural, failure, does that create liability of some kind. >> it does not indicate structural failure, but it indicates the higher likelihood. but you would not otherwise perform which is basic. and so, there is then, the potential for higher liability if something was to happen, you have recognized that there was possible concern. >> thank you. >> next? >> i did have a question. >> the arguments that been made
that the burden is on the requestor of the permit, you know the permit applicant, to, establish the basis for the removal and that the burden was not met, here. and it... when you approach your review, of these permits, are you going through any type of like a checklist or sort of is one factor more positive than another in making the determination that is such a permit application should be approved for removal? >> our arborist will do their
own assessment and we looking at the structure of the industry. and as you know i have presented before you in many other cases if the tree is healthy and structurally sound even if there are other factors that can be mitigated through the pruning or the sidewalk repair we do not approve the removal, in these cases we felt that the conditions were poor enough that it met that threshold to grant removal and i think that what he is referring to are criteria specific to significant treeds and that the director of public works should consider when making a determination. and that there are a number of factors that he mentioned and i would just note that it was the director of public works and not the hearing officer who ultimately issued these decisions. >> okay. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> commissioners the matter is
submitted. >> all right. >> well, i will start, i guess. >> okay. commissioners as we know, i love trees, and i am a tree kind of guy. and as we know, whether they were ill watered or maintained on a poor basis, there is a situation that they are at the point of no return. and a tree of that size having a failure could be a very problematic situation, whether it is a car or whether it is an individual and there are a lot of pedestrians in that particular area. i do sympathize with what the appellants and the fact that they have had a lot of missing trees. and i think that having it in front of this board the people that are in the know are now in
the know and so we probably will not see any more trees hopefully disappearing. but i will be i will up hold the permit. >> okay. i would concur with your assessment. and that is, i have not heard any basis to contradict the apartment's assessment of the permit. >> anybody else? >> no. >> i am going to move to deny the appeal, and up hold the permits. do i have to provide? that the issuance of the permits were code compliant. >> thank you. >> we have a motion from the president to up hold all three permits. on the basis that they are code compliant.
that is right. >> yeah. >> on that motion, commissioner fung? >> aye. >> commissioner hurtado? >> aye. >> lazarus. >> aye. >> honda. >> aye. >> thank you. the vote is 5-0, all three permits are upheld on that basis. >> we are going to take a ten to 15 minute break. >> welcome back, we are calling number 6.
vladimir strazhnikov, appellant(s) vs. municipal transportation agency,appealing the revocation on september 11, 2013, of taxi medallion no. 651. >> thank you, i am an attorney acting for him and this is an important hearing because it is about the revocation of his taxi medallion which he works many years to require he came here as a refugee from russia and with an accounting degree but could not get work. and so he started driving his taxi cab, and worked hard over a period of 14 years. and was able to purchase one for 250,000. he has paid a good deal of that, about half. and some remaining, which is bank-financed and it he loses his medallion, he will have lost an equity value of about $50,000. that is a great deal of money to him. and more importantly, he would lose his business.
and the business with which he supports his family, many of whom are seated with me tonight. and his father, his grandmother who is 92 years old, and his wife, and his two children, young children and they require his work as a taxi cab business person, to support the family he was served with transactions with the parment atransit cars and he admitteds to two, and the dollar value of the transactions amounts to about $27 and you have to compare that against the kind of punishment that the revocation of his license proposes to, or the revocation is to propose to wreak upon him and it is a huge
disparity and what i am hoping that you will think about is a different way of punishing him. and no doubt that he should be punished for these infractions but, what the revocation of his med dallon means that he will have lost his ability to conduct a business, and to earn a livelihood in the way that he has, over the time that he has had his med dallon and that means a difference if he were to drive a taxi verses own a business, of about $20,000 a year. and it is a loss of equity in his med dallon as well. and the statute which is the one relied on to punish people in the situation. is the transportation code section 1118. and if you take a look at that code, you will see that there are three ways in which a taxi
me dallon holder can be punished and one is revocation and one is by suspension and one is by fine and in most situations, in the criminal law system and in the civil justice system, when a person violates some law or commits some infraction, and then we punish that person incrementally, in steps, and by disciplinary procedures and this is the first time that he has ever been charged with a discipline violation and he has never had an accident during the taxi cab and he has a ste lar record with the clients and he is well loved with the clients that he serves which consists of a russian speaking community and he is makes special efforts on their behalf by driving them to the hospital visits and translates them and assist them up and down stairs and serve them in a way that other
drivers cannot or do not. it is far too drastic and it is taking off his head and he should not be punished that unkindly and he should be given a chance to rise again and make a living as a taxi cab business person and he should be spanked but not terminated. and the way to give him a spanking and to tell him that he has to change his behavior in the future over these infractions, something of which he is committed to do and as he himself will say, is to impose a fine. or suspend him for a period of 250i78 and rather than take away the entire business and i suggest that the commission, choose one of those remedies.
fine him. and fine him $10,000 which will be a big big hit to him. a big enough hit for the kind of infractions of which he was accused. but don't take away his livelihood and his ability to support his family. i am going to keep the rest of my time available to him who wants to address you personally about this matter, thank you. >> i am number 651 and i work as a cab driver for 18 years and i had a chance to purchase my medallion eight years ago and three years ago and these purchase i had the ability to be a more independent, and more and make more money and have a
chance to, to with the right and so, if and the sfmta believe that i made, i had a three, person and the customer and so i speak in the customers that i help with and sfmta believed that i all of those times i transport fragile but my grandmother is taken care of and she is 91 and she is the special care and the trip to the car and it is for the people who do so. and so, i apologize for those transactions. i was wrong and i... if my medallion is going to be taken away it is going to hurt my family a lot. thank you. >> we can hear from the department now.
mr. murray? >> >> good commissioners, jarvis can the sfmta and we are here related not because of something that is a minor infraction, i think that the average person you would have to ask yourself, how would that person feel if they found out that a driver a taxi driver who owned the vehicle was using their credit card when they were not in the vehicle and running it and charging money on that credit card. i think it is our duty as the sfmta, to up hold our drivers and especially our medallion holders who have complete ownership and control of that vehicle to a standard that says you can't do this to the riding
public. you can't do this to our most vulnerable population which is the elderly and disabled. what we have here is the usage of the para transit card and now i explained it in my brief but to quickly so that you can understand again, the para transit program is a program that is being used here in san francisco to allow our elderly and disabled population to take rides in vans and taxis throughout the city so they can do various errands would be do physician beingly demanding and difficult and it allows the drivers to take them at a subsidized cost to whatever they have to go in the city and county of san francisco. and as part of that program, they are issued this card, and it is a subsidized card and as long as they qualify, and they used those cards at each taxi and we have about 1800 taxis in
the city at this point is required to be a part of this para transit program and which means that every patron has the assurance of knowing that i can get a ride, a personal ride, a private ride in the taxi to my destination. now what he was accused of and what was found in the hearing was he was taking those cards without the patron in the vehicle, he had several cards and he was running them. and now in our previous hearing, it is true, we showed video. of two of those transactions taking place without the para transit patron in the vehicle. the patron has their photo on the card so our drivers are able to identify that you are the appropriate person using that card, our driver can look in the backseat and verify, yes this is the right person who should be on this card and once they do that, they run the card, after they take the person for the ride and obtain a receipt and as long as the
person is physically able that person can sign the receipt. and what, the video showed him doing was taking the individual, and i got into a taxi and my ride was say, $20. and then, once i leave, he would take a second card, after i had already paid my fare, he would take the card of an elderly and disabled person and run that card again, getting and doubling up on that fare and now he has turned a $20 ride to a $40 ride for his own personal gain and now i have with us, and he provided a declaration, of the services of where we get the documentations related to these rides because the cards show the identification and pick up location and drop off and the id of the customer and the id of the driver as well. mr. san der son is going to come up to you and explain what he saw in that system which is more than just two rides, but a
pattern of conduct that happen before he obtained his medallion and continues until we issued a complaint against him. and so go ahead mr. san der son and he is going to use some of our time to discuss what he found. >> thank you, i'm john san der son, operation's director with the billy transportation which is the broker in san francisco. and we administer the programs including the taxi debit card program. and sorry, basically the evidence that we found consists of a number of patterns that we sao in the transactional record that consists of the transactions that were performed in the taxi cab and mr. murray mentioned a bunch of the data points that are captured in that record. and we noticed a few things and we noticed that there were a number of riders and turned out
to be 7 riders when we had done all of the math, who almost exclusively used him and at least three cases there were the riders only ever traveled with him during the period we looked at and they never rode with another cab driver at all. at the same time for the same period, those riders in their travel, never appeared to go home. they only traveled between other places but they never went back to their home address and to us that was very unusual and then we also noticed in a number of cases, and i believe that 67 separate instances where multiple cards had their balances checked, using the electronic equipment in the taxi cab, by him at almost the exact same time so we can say based on that record